My biggest fear of last night’s lineup was realized in the third period of the Rangers/Golden Knights contest as Mika Zibanejad exploded for a goal and two assists in the third period which sank our lineup. I took a calculated risk fading him in favor of Mark Scheifele at lower ownership for GPPs, and it came back to bite me. The Red Wings had a good night and Jimmy Howard got the win, but it wasn’t enough to get us into the cash. Let’s show some improvement on tonight’s five-game slate!
C – Jonathan Toews (CHI) – $6,800 vs. PHI
After a nice start to his season Toews has been fairly quiet as of late, but he follows a theme for this lineup: he’s due. Toews scored three goals on 11 shots across his first five games of the season, but he hasn’t scored a goal despite taking 22 shots over his last seven contests. Toews is skating more than 20 minutes almost every single night and 4:22 worth of power play time per game as well. The Flyers’ are killing just 75% of their penalties on the road this season, good for a three-way tie for 21st in the league, so let’s get some good exposure to the Blackhawks’ power play groups tonight.
C – Riley Sheahan (PIT) – $3,200 vs. EDM
Here we have a player who is a GPP play but one that I believe has real nice upside in tonight’s tilt against the Oilers. After coming over in a trade with the Red Wings, Sheahan has found himself centering the Penguins third line, but it appears that Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel will flank Sheahan on that line. Those are two high quality offensive players that Sheahan is expected to skate with tonight, so I’m looking for the newest Penguin to score his first goal with his new team tonight in Oil Country.
W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $8,700 vs. PHI
If you are expecting big things from the Blackhawks tonight Kane is just a real tough fade. He provides a real solid floor with his point-per-game and 3.25 shot per game average on the season, and Kane has upped that average to five shots per game over his last three contests. Chicago ranks 9th with 3.50 goals per game on home ice this season, and although they scored ten goals in a home game against the Penguins early in the season, that goes to show that is an explosive offense, especially at the United Center in Chicago.
W – Alex DeBrincat (CHI) – $3,700 vs. PHI
Another cheap, lower owned player on tonight’s slate is DeBrincat. I don’t expect him to be as low owned as Sheahan though as DeBrincat is set to skate alongside Toews on the first line and the first power play grouping. As mentioned previously in these articles, although DeBrincat has just one goal and four helpers in 12 games this season, he racked up three consecutive 100-point seasons his last three years of junior hockey and scored 65 goals and 127 points in 63 OHL games last season. He is also seeing a solid 2:46 of power play time per game on the season.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $5,600 vs. EDM
Here is a guy that I believe we should get real nice bang for our buck from. Hornqvist fits the theme of being due just like Toews as he scored three goals on eight shots over his first four games of the season, but hasn’t scored on his last 20 shots, spanning six games. The best thing about Hornqvist tonight is the fact he is set to skate alongside Sidney Crosby on the team’s top line while also getting his first line power play minutes as well. The Penguins power play is clicking at 28% this season (4th) and a whopping 40% on the road (1st). Hornqvist averages 4:19 of ice time on that power play per game.
W – Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – $7,500 vs. PIT
I’m also not willing to fade the Oilers tonight so I made sure to scoop up Draisaitl in order to get myself a productive player as well as some Connor McDavid exposure as well. Draisaitl skates on the wing alongside McDavid at even strength and on the power play which has helped him record seven points on 17 shots across six games this season. Draisaitl skates an average of 20:34 per game on the season, 3:50 of which has come with the man advantage. Somehow the Oilers rank 23rd with just 2.67 goals per game at home this season, but that will change soon as they lead the NHL with 41 shots per game on home ice.
D – Duncan Keith (CHI) – $6,100 vs. PIT
Duncan Keith is also due. While I don’t think shooting percentages are overly important for defensemen who take the majority of their shots from long range, but Duncan Keith sports a 0.0% shooting clip thanks to zero goals over a whopping 34 shots on goal in 12 games. It’s not often you see a rear guard average almost three shots per game, and the fact that Keith has blocked 22 shots, averages 25:23 of ice per game and averages 4:36 of power play ice time per game makes him quite an attractive play tonight.
D – Oscar Klefbom (EDM) – $5,400 vs. PIT
Like Keith, Klefbom is a defenseman who provides a solid floor for this lineup tonight on home ice. His offensive skills are certainly there as he has tallied 12 goals and 38 points last season to go along with 201 shots on goal. Through 10 games this season, Klefbom has 34 shots on goal, but has yet to score, so he is also very due. He has also blocked 27 shots and is the lone defenseman on the Oilers’ top power play unit, averaging a team leading 24:37 of ice time per game and 3:50 of power play ice time per game.
G – Jacob Markstrom (VAN) – $7,800 vs. NJ
There is certainly risk in this play as Markstrom takes on a Devils’ team that ranks 3rd in the NHL with 3.80 goals per game, but there is plenty of reason to believe the Devils have been lucky offensively. Their 12.6% shooting percentage ranks 2nd in the league, but their 30.1 shots per game ranks 24th. Their PDO (shooting % + save %) is 102.7 (5th), also due for regression. Also, while their home power play clicks at a whopping 40.9%, their power play on the road has fallen off a cliff to 11.1%, good for 25th overall. Markstrom is enjoying a solid season and sports a tidy 2.41 goals against average for a Canucks team that ranks 8th with an 87.5% penalty kill at home. I really like Markstrom tonight.